“Before social media, leaders had the benefit of more time and space to consider their response in times of crisis. Today they can become the focus of a PR disaster within seconds. Look at how the former CEO of BP was lambasted after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill for saying he would ‘like his life back’. We’re living in a complex world and leaders need new skills to flourish in it,” says Axtell.
Hound Lodge is the ideal place for business leaders to engage with this type of thinking. Set within the 12,000 acre Goodwood Estate in Chichester, West Sussex, guests can truly unwind in beautiful surroundings and escape from the frenetic routine of daily life.
They are looked after by a Goodwood butler and a personal chef, who creates a bespoke menu using organic ingredients from the Estate.
Beautifully designed living and dining spaces sit around a central courtyard that leads out onto idyllic ancient woodland. The bedrooms are sumptuous, the beds even more so, the mattresses filled with wool from the sheep that graze on the Goodwood Estate.
People who go on the Hound Lodge business retreat with Lepe Partners are given little information about what they will be doing or who will be there. The idea being that it needs to feel very different to a normal offsite meeting. Axtell argues that in a way the retreat replicates that sense of the unknown, encouraging people adapt to what is thrown at them. Although none of the activities are ever that challenging, Axtell likes to put people ever-so-slightly out of their comfort zone.